Current Issue

STEM Education News

June 12, 2015

In this issue:


National News & Opinion

Meet the Inspiring Teachers Leading the Way to Help Students Discover Engineering
DiscoverE Honors the Best and Brightest With the 2015 Educator Awards

Honoring the educators who are inspiring the next generation of engineering students, DiscoverE on June 8, 2015 announced the recipients of the 2015 DiscoverE Educator Awards. Through this annual recognition, the engineering profession pays tribute to those who bring engineering to life for students in grades 6-12. Unique to this program, engineers and engineering students are part of the nomination process.

Three winners were recognized at a ceremony at the National Academy of Sciences Building in Washington DC. Honorees receive a $2,000 cash prize, and a 3M gift pack of classroom supplies. Eight notable runners-up receive $500 each and 3M gift packs.
Meet the winners here.

The DiscoverE Educator Awards are sponsored by 3M, Bechtel, ExxonMobil Corporation, Lockheed Martin Corporation, Shell Oil Corporation, and the United Engineering Foundation (UEF).

Kevin Tambara 2012-2013 Albert Einstein Fellow Blogs About His Travels with IREX/TGC
By Kevin Tambara

The International Research and Exchange (IREX) is a US State Department sponsored organization whose mission is to promote lasting change globally through cultural exchange, thought leadership, and global education.

The Teachers for Global Classrooms Program (TGC) is a wonderful year-long professional development opportunity for K-12 teachers to learn about and practice global education principles in their own classrooms and schools. There is an intensive graduate level online course focused on classroom globalization, followed by a field experience and capstone project for an extended time in another country.

When I was informed late last year by IREX that I had been placed with the India cohort I couldn’t have been more excited, with anxious being a close second. At this stage in my teaching career I knew I was ready to take on a foreign country assignment and all that it entailed. Due to our school demographics, I was interested in connecting with either India or South Korea. Whereas Korean school schedules are similar to US schools (September-June), India was going to be a more likely placement since their school systems typically operate from June to about March, which would make it ideal to visit and co-teach in the June/July timeframe, during our own summer break. Plus India is literally half a world away (12 1/2 hours difference from CA). You can’t get more different than that!
Read about his travels here.

A Call to Action to Improve Math Placement Policies and Processes
By Lara K. Couturier and Jenna Cullinane, Jobs For the Future (JFF)

This call to action is based on a simple but important premise: The nation cannot allow placement policies, processes, and instruments to undermine promising efforts to increase student success in mathematics and increase attainment of STEM credentials. Efforts to redesign math pathways hold great promise for improving the teaching and learning experiences of students who need college algebra—many of whom are STEM students—and helping those students persist toward and maintain STEM aspirations. But placement policies, processes, and instruments have not kept pace with math redesign efforts.

The nation needs more students prepared for STEM jobs—particularly low-income students, students of color, and underprepared students who historically have not had equitable access to preparation for and on-ramps to well-paying, dynamic STEM careers. To meet this need, mathematics course pathways must be a lever for helping students maintain and even increase their STEM aspirations. At the moment, however, far too many math courses—especially developmental math courses—serve as a serious obstacle and even deterrent to STEM-interested students seeking STEM credentials.
Read More.

Jeff Gordon, Axalta promote STEM education through Penn State paint scheme
By Seth Livingstone, NASCAR Wire Service

Jeff Gordon has always experienced strong support at Pocono Raceway, a track where he’s won six NASCAR Sprint Cup races. This weekend, he’s feeling a little extra love.

Gordon is not only driving a Penn State-themed, blue-and-white Chevrolet in Sunday’s Axalta ‘We Paint Winners’ 400, his team is helping to host more than 100 Penn State students —primarily business and engineering majors — at the track.

“It’s amazing. We had a chance to go over to Penn State and visit with the students and the faculty and the group of engineers that are doing so much to be the future of companies like Axalta and the future of racing,” said Gordon, who is competing in his final full Sprint Cup season.

Axalta (formerly DuPont) is a Philadelphia-based manufacturer of liquid and powder coatings. The Penn State program at Pocono, which includes a garage tour and panel discussion with Axalta, NASCAR, Pocono Raceway and Hendrick Motorsports executives, is designed to drive awareness of and support STEM (science, technology, education and math) and business education.
Read More.

Bill Nye Boosts Science Guys and Girls: ‘Kids Are Natural Scientists’
By Devin Coldewey

Bill Nye the Science Guy is upbeat about the next generation of researchers and engineers, many of whom were on show last week as part of the Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision national science competition. Science-minded youngsters, from kindergartners to high-schoolers, presented projects on all kinds of topics, and Nye was there to honor the best of the best.

“They’re all cool. Kids are natural scientists,” said Nye in a phone interview with NBC News. “The winning teams have done a lot of research, that’s for sure.”
Read More.

From the States

North Carolina: McCrory announces statewide STEM initiative with help from GSK, By Dane Huffman, WNCN

Pennsylvania: Exelon, PECO Donate $500,000 To Enhance STEM Education At 2 West Phila. Schools, By Steve Tawa, CBS Philly


ASEE 122nd Annual Conference & Exposition Making Value for Society – June 14th – 17th
The ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition is the only conference dedicated to all disciplines of engineering and engineering technology education. As the premier event of its kind, the ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition fosters an exchange of ideas, enhances teaching methods and curricula, and provides unparalleled networking opportunities for engineering and technology education stakeholders including deans, faculty members, researchers, and industry and government professionals. Learn More.

ISTE 2015 – June 28th – July 1st
For more than three decades the ISTE Conference & Expo has been the premier forum in which to learn, exchange ideas and survey the field of education technology. The event attracts upwards of 18,000 attendees and industry representatives, including teachers, technology coordinators, administrators, library media specialists, teacher educators and policy makers. Attendees enjoy world-class keynotes, hundreds of sessions in a variety of formats and a massive expo hall. Learn More.

Check out the Triangle Coalition for STEM Education full calendar of STEM events.